February 04, 2015

Prepare for the first World Day of Prayer, Reflection & Action Against Trafficking in Persons - 8 February

Sunday, 8 February 2015, the Feast Day of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947), marks the first World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Trafficking in Persons.

As a young woman St Josephine was kidnapped into slavery in Sudan before meeting and entering the Canossian Daughters of Charity in 1893. St Bakhita is the patron of trafficked persons.

Sisters of Mercy across the globe continue Catherine McAuley's ministry of outreach with distressed women today by opposing Human Trafficking. Women, Children and men are all victims of human trafficking

In preparation for this day, the Mercy Global Action Working Group Opposing Human Trafficking has prepared a prayer service which you are invited to use, in whole or in part.


Download the prayer service in two formats:  US Letter Size ( PDF)    A4 Paper Size (PDF)


The background to Mercy International Association's stance on human trafficking, as well as the Mercy Global Action (MGA) Statement on Human Trafficking and reports from Mercy groups engaged in practical action and advocacy on this 'crime against humanity' (Pope Francis) can be accessed here on the Opposing Human Trafficking microsite

In the lead up to 8 February you might like to join your voice in prayer with others who are praying daily for the millions involved in and affected by this issue, using the prayer calendar created by the Sisters of St Joseph of Orange, USA, which contains suggested intentions for each day's prayer.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) have released a joint media statement supporting Pope Francis in declaring Sunday, 8 February, 2015, the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, as World Day of prayer, reflection and action against human trafficking.

Sr Anne Tormey rsm, President, ACRATH said, ‘Following the call from Pope Francis and leaders of the Anglican, Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu faiths, “to eradicate the terrible scourge of modern slavery in all its forms”, today we join this global initiative. The life of St Josephine Bakhita reminds us of the assault to the dignity, and of the suffering endured by every trafficked person.’

The media statement contains information and links to further resources for use on 8 February, 2015

The Prayer Service on the theme of opposing human trafficking prepared by the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea for MIA's 20th Anniversary celebrations can be accessed here. The video of the prayer service can be viewed here

A Novena to St Bakhita (30 January - 7 February) prepared by the Canossian Sisters can be downloaded here (12 pps; PDF). The Novena contains many depositions (testimonies) of those who knew St Josephine so may be of interest to those who wish to know more about her life and elevation to sainthood.

Vatican on Human Trafficking: We need to move from solidarity to action (01:45)
A Candlelight Vigil will be held in Rome on 6 February


Messages: to the Mercy Global Action Working Group Opposing Human Trafficking
c/- Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

Back to All News